Ice Cream & Frozen Novelties

March 2, 2015

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Chocolate. Vanilla. Strawberry.

These are by far the most classic ice cream flavors. Vanilla has been the best-selling flavor for more than 30 years, but Americans can’t seem to make up their minds about which flavors come in second and third place. In 2012, mint chocolate chip and cookies-and-cream took the top spots. In 2013, chocolate and butter pecan were numbers two and three, respectively.
Ice Cream Fast Facts:

73% of consumers believe that ice cream can fit into a healthy diet.

72% increase in seasonal & Limited edition ice cream and frozen desserts from 2012-2014.

68% of consumers consider health-related attributes when purchasing  ice cream & frozen desserts. 
61% of frozen treat consumers are willing to spend more on better-quality frozen treats.

Category Overview

A global look at new product introductions for ice cream and frozen desserts shows a 1% increase from 2013-2014. New product introductions in North America did not show the same growth pattern with a 19% decrease in that same time period.

According to a recent Mintel survey, about half of frozen treat buyers are buying the same amount of frozen dessert products as they were a year ago and 29% say they are buying less (compared to only 19% who are buying more). Continued innovation focusing on healthy indulgences, seasonal offerings and premium product innovation will help keep the loyal consumers of this category on their toes and willing to try new things.

Not So Vanilla

Flavor innovation in the ice cream and frozen dessert category will always focus on the classics, but we are continuing to see a twist on the traditional classics of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry with unique flavors pairings and varietals. Flavors rarely seen in this medium are also starting to slowly make their way into the category with offerings such as saffron, thyme, carrot, beet and chili pepper. Growing flavors are not too far outside of the norm with mocha, caramel and cinnamon playing a role in premium product offerings.
Top Growing Ice Cream & Frozen Treat Flavors:

Vanilla Bean

Healthy Indulgences

In a world obsessed with health and wellness, consumers want to be able to have their cake (or in this case ice cream) and eat it too! When obesity rates are climbing year over year, consumers need to be able look past their cravings and satisfy their sweet tooth with healthier indulgences. Beyond the claims of light and reduced fat, we are spotting healthier product offerings focused on including protein as well as servings of fruits and/or vegetables. Indulgent flavors and creamy textures help the products stand out and the healthy halo of servings of fruit and veg tap into the demand for healthier dessert options that still deliver a great tasting treat.

Products of Note:

Belmont Sorbet and Greek Frozen Yogurt

Dreyer’s Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars

Pro Yo Premium Banana Vanilla High Protein Frozen Yogurt

To learn more about these products, download the full report here!

Premium Scoops

While more than half of frozen treat buyers express the importance of product price in their purchase decision, flavor rules. According to Mintel, some 61% of frozen treat eaters say they are willing to spend more on better-quality frozen treats, and gelato (typically seen to carry a higher price point) has driven growth in the category in recent years. While people are consuming ice cream and frozen novelties less frequently, this also means consumers are pickier in terms of the quality of frozen treats. Consumers are willing to pay more for better tasting frozen treats, creating opportunities for premium or artisanal product lines.

Products of Note:

Boulder Famous Sweet Cream Flavored Organic Ice Cream

Talenti Mediterranean Mint Gelato

Find out more about these premium flavors by downloading the full report!

Seasonal & Limited Edition

Winter, spring, summer or fall…there  truly  is a flavor for every season! Traditionally, we associate flavors such as pumpkin, peppermint and cranberry with seasonal product and menu changes. While most of these flavors are still prevalent in the market, we are now starting to spot new seasonal flavors beyond the traditional holidays. The most popular non-traditional seasonal and limited edition theme is summer, with a vareity of product offerings calling out summer berries or summer events like baseball games in the flavor name.

Products of Note:

Edy’s Grand Ice Cream Sunny Salted Caramel Pretzel Vanilla Ice Cream

Edy’s Grand Ice Cream 3 Stripes You’re Out  Vanilla Ice Cream

Breyer’s Summer Berry Cobbler Frozen Dairy Dessert

Ben & Jerry’s Vermont’s Finest Cotton Candy Ice Cream

Dreyer’s Limited Edition Slow Churned Fun ‘n the Sun Banana Split Light Ice Cream

Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Limited Edition Summer in the City Cheesecake Ice Cream

Download the full report to find out more about these limited time offerings!



Let FONA’s market insight and research experts translate these trends into product category ideas for your brand. They can help you with concept and flavor pipeline development, ideation, consumer studies and white space analysis to pinpoint opportunities in the market. Our flavor and product development experts are also at your service to help meet the labeling and flavor profile needs for your products to capitalize on this consumer trend. We understand how to mesh the complexities of flavor with your brand development, technical requirements and regulatory needs to deliver a complete taste solution. From concept to manufacturing, we’re here every step of the way. Contact our Sales Service Department at 630.578.8600 to request a flavor sample or visit